Front Entrace 2015, a.k.a. My Urban Farming Experiment

Last summer I got a late start in sprucing up the front entrance of Fancy Pants Ranch.

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I think this photo was from July.

This summer I decided to be ahead of the curve.

With some valuable assistance from my Mom and $175 at the gardening center, we hit Memorial Day weekend running.

Fancying ourselves as urban farmers, we added some crops this year in the form of a green bean plant, a tomato plant, two strawberry plants, a salad container, and lots of herbs.

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Total yield thus far:

  • One salad (picked and consumed the day the planter was purchased, subsequently all lettuces eaten by chipmunks)
  • Three green beans
  • Two strawberries
  • Zero tomatoes (although that plant has taken off like crazy and I am still keeping my fingers crossed)

But the best purchases of all were two solar powered butterfly lights.

Here they are in the day:

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Here’s a professional shot at night:

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Photo from HomeLava

They change colors every few seconds, which the kids love to watch.

I never really thought about decorating for night until now, but these colorful lights add so much.

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Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Fresh Entry

A few days ago, I posted about how much I loved lavender and wanted to get a plant of my own.

After striking out at the first garden store I visited, I hit the jackpot at Home Depot.

They had two varieties, “Munstead” and “English Lavender.” I got both (on sale! Hooray for the July clearance on plants!), plus some peppermint.

MGM and Trixie were with me, and they each got to pick out a flowering plant.

New plants meant we needed a few extra pots, since we’re woefully short on gardening supplies at Fancy Pants Ranch.

We eventually got them situated and placed them near the front door of our house.

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The new plants made the doormat seem kind of dingy, so the next day I got this one at Target:

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(My toes strategically placed for artistic effect). 

Seriously, this was only $12.99 and made a big impact! Note to self: buy a new doormat more often, like before the old one disintegrates.

I also went back to Garden Store #1 and got one more big glazed pot for the yellow flowers that MGM selected.

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Here’s the end result:

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And a close up of our turtle family:

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Come on in!

 

 

 

 

 

Lavender

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I’m pretty crazy about anything lavender – the plant, not the hue – and I was excited to learn that it’s quite a versatile crop.

While I’d always assumed that lavender needed to grow somewhere hot and dry (Provence, anyone?), there are so many varieties of lavender that it can actually be cultivated in many different climates.

Apparently I live in Gardening Zone 4, where the top crop really should be snow cones.

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But at least two varieties of lavender will grow even here: “Munstead” and “Hidcote.” A bonus is that both of these are highly fragrant.

Here’s a great guide to growing different types of lavender.

It’s probably too late to rip up my yard this year and re-create these scenes, but I’m planning to hit the garden center this weekend for a little potted shrub of my own.

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Not interested in growing your own but want to enjoy the fragrance? L’Occitane sells the best line of lavender products. The hand cream is really nice.

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